Hi! My name is Tara. I’ve always been a little bit different. I look at things and try super hard to make the best out of stuff, but it is so much harder than anyone really gets. Unless they have known me a long time. Thank god I finally found people I want to be in my life forever. I’ve pushed so many people away and I just had this shut off valve in my brain to turn off the love I had for them. It is sick and a part of me I hate the most. I’ll talk about that soon. Pretty much everything I’ve written so far has to do with the fact that I have BPD, Borderline Personality Disorder. I am positive I’ve had it for pretty much my whole life. I have been searching for the right therapist, doctor or anyone that handles mental illness to help me. A few months ago, after seeing my new therapist, she finally answered what is wrong with me. Let me tell ya. Being able to put a name to it really helped. Once my session finished I was able to read a little about it. I felt validated for the first time by a professional. I now understand what has been torturing me my whole life. And now, with therapy 2x a week plus a support group every week, I can start rebuilding my brain. I know I have a very long road ahead of me and I know it won’t ever be cured, but I am learning little by little how to make life not terrifying anymore. I’m writing this blog for two reasons. One is because I don’t want to forget what I’ve gone through, because it shows what I’m fighting to move on from. Two is I got inspiration from a fellow warrior in a facebook support group. It is called: Born Under The Gaslight: A Memoir of My Descent Into Borderline Personality Disorder by Cindy Collins. It is on Amazon and she tells her very hard story and really shows how she got BPD and what the disease entails. I feel like I get a lot out of learning from others. It helps to know that all the awful things I do and say aren’t just because I’m a terrible person, it comes from what the disease does to all of us. How we react is unique yet similar. I know that just doesn’t make sense, but once i start my deep dive into it with you i think you’ll understand. There are 9 traits that professionals use to diagnose us and if a person has 6 or more of them the diagnosis is given. There are a few different ways to treat it. Every story we share is unique but the more we learn about each other the more we start to understand ourselves. I apologize that my first post is long, I just don’t want anyone that isn’t ready for or might get triggered by my stories to get hurt. If you are still reading, thank you. I hope I can help someone like my groups help me. (points if you can figure out where the title of this post came from.) Here we go…
Things have been pretty quiet in my head the last two weeks. I started my garden and am spending a lot of time outside and I think that has really helped. But the constant wait for the intrusive thoughts and panic attacks was starting to take it’s toll on me.
Saturday a lady went off on me because she was a bad driver. I literally said nothing and didn’t do anything to cause her reaction. I didn’t deserve it.
And because driving is one of my triggers now it set off the racing thoughts and a full blown panic attack. She got in my head and is living there rent free with some of the other awful people I’ve encountered. And she keeps creeping in fucking with my head.
So here we are again. Back to “normal”. I sat outside this morning and ate my first strawberry from my garden and that was an amazing moment. But that idiot is still bothering me. It was right in my condo by my house. The odds of seeing her again are pretty high and that is really bothering me.
Anyway. Enjoy a picture of my strawberry and me enjoying her.
I realized I only write when I’m in a bad place in my head. But I think it’s important to share that there ARE good days. It is hard to have to break down what causes a panic attack because you have to relieve each moment step by step. To figure out what triggered the attack and find a coping skill to work on. Let’s break down my day to see what it was like to be happy.
I woke up for the second night in my bed (We have bronchitis and I had to “sleep” sitting up I’m the living room for three or four days). I got a really good hug from Josh. I bought him to work. Did a favor for a friend and then had therapy outside. Went and picked up pots and soul to repot all my veggie plants. Came home and repotted each plant into their new homes. Handyman’d putting books up for my plants. Sat outside and enjoyed my new view. Realized I have my own mindfulness garden now and felt very calm and serene. Came in and took a long, cool shower and now here I am.
Nothing crazy. Simple every day tasks people do. But I was living in each moment and let myself enjoy it. I want to remember this day. Because when I’m in the bad place this can give me the hope I lost.
Remember the good days.
Yesterday another jackass almost hit me on the highway. After I had hit a bird and finished crying. The guy didn’t give two shits that he freaked me out. Why does this keep happening? Because it is triggering as hell and I’m getting paranoid to drive at all.
I think because of the two things that happened my brain was exhausted. I lay in bed, about to fall asleep and all these intrusive thoughts started. Josh is getting a cold so he is obviously going to die and leave me all alone. I saw visions of sitting in planned parenthood 18 years ago, getting the pill to end my pregnancy. My cats are going to die. Don is dead in front of me.
It was bad. I kept focusing on my breathing and talking myself down from each one. They just kept coming. I don’t know what time I finally fell asleep. But I woke up and they were still there. As the day goes on they are quieting but they keep coming back. BPD brain is literally torture.
Mother’s Day is coming and I’m not looking forward to it. It’s just another day but the title they add to it makes it seem so much more intimidating.
One reason is I had a mother I loved with all my heart who did nothing but hurt me. I remember being scared every year that it would be the last Mother’s Day with her. Now that she made it clear she wants nothing to do with me(blessing in disguise) I look back at those years and hurt all over again. I was forced into being a caregiver for her when I was 12 and the only way to be done was to basically to go to work one day and never go back. After I found Don dead I was caregiver again and the stress of it all came flying back. She never appreciated all I did. I wasn’t good enough to deserve any recognition. I did everything in my power to get her healthy and ok after Don. I worked tirelessly to make her love me and where is she now? The only way to know if she is still alive is to google her. Yep I still do that. She’s still kicking, all by herself because that’s who she is. She would rather be alone than forgive anyone for things they didn’t fucking do. She did it with my uncles. She did it with friends. Now she did it with her own daughter.
The second reason is I’m not a mom. I almost was. I’m a pet mom. But I gave up my chance to appease everyone else. I still live with it every day. How do some people have abortions like it’s nothing? Is it a BPD thing to hold on to the pain forever or something? It sucks and it hurts and I want to Eternal Sunshine my mind and forget all about that part of my life. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – fuck off with that bullshit. It almost killed me and I’m no better for it. I just wish I could go back in time and tell young me to do what I think is best for myself. Not listen to the men in my life who threatened me with a lawsuit and the thought of if I had that baby I would kill my mother. God I hate them both. They both ripped a part of me away with their words. Forgive and forget lol what’s that?
So anyway. I’m dreading a normal Sunday because of things that are out of my control. I recognize that and understand that it’s just another day to the non moms out there. I just wish I had the forgiveness I thought I had for myself. That ship sailed away and then sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Anyway. I’m not
Ya know. I hate having bpd. One minute I’m fine and the anxiety is at it’s normal level and the next I feel the rollercoaster start and I know shit’s about to go down. I got back and try and figure out why I’m crashing and ya know what? I don’t fucking know ok? And it’s not fair that my brain is wired this way. Is it the PMDD again? I don’t fucking know. All I know is I’m tired. And I’m tired of being this way. Am I gonna be like this again for another two weeks? Cause I don’t want to.
Today my car battery died. I hit the light yesterday and didn’t realize it. My first thought was how mad my husband was going to be. Which is the dumbest thing to think because he wouldn’t get mad at me or yell at me. He never has. Yet the fear made me sick to my stomach. I sat holding the steering wheel so worried. For nothing. Because he is a good man and a wonderful husband.
The fear comes from years of being made to feel that way if any accident occured. Don once punched a hole in the wall and pushed me to the ground because i was in a car accident. I would be screamed at. And because of that I’m afraid of making a mistake. My poor husband has to live with me like this. The man is a saint.
Last night I laid in bed snuggled with my cat, Clover. I was thinking how I can’t believe I’ve kept them alive, happy and healthy for so long. Then I started thinking about how old she and Gizmo are. And I went down the dark rabbit hole of seeing her lifeless body laying on the bed. This is a very real fear for me. These two are my unofficial therapy cats and the thought of losing them cripples me. I’m sitting here crying just typing this. I know death is inevitable but I can’t imagine life without them. I already know I’ll need to be either heavily sedated for who knows how long or even worse I’ll need to be hospitalized.
I can’t even get started on the constant fear of losing Josh. I don’t think I will be able to handle it. I can’t go down that road or I’m gonna pass out from a bad panic attack.
All three of them are absolutely fine. But this haunts me daily. I hate how my brain does this. I try so hard to be present and enjoy every second I get with them but it is SO hard. I need a sedative now. I’m right back in it. I thought getting it out would help but nope. Gonna take my meds and try and regain control.
Since I watched the Allen V Farrow documentary earlier this week I’ve had some awful memories on my mind. Memories of Don. Memories I had locked away but they are back. Let’s get them out of my head and out into the void.
I’m going to preface this by saying how guilty I feel saying any of this. He is dead. And after all he did you would think, why would you feel guilty? Because the little girl who so badly wanted a dad and a happy life locked this shit up. She didn’t want to believe any of this was real. But god damn it I refuse to let this shit stay locked up any more.
The first thing I want to talk about is no one knew the reality of who Don was. Anyone that knew him just loved him. He had this huge personality (for such a short little pervert). He was well respected in and outside of work. He hosted weekly movie nights at our house for his coworkers/friends. He made the world think he was someone completely different. No one he knew would ever believe the truth because they wouldn’t want to. He was that loved.
But the man lived this double life. He cheated on his wife with my mother and this other woman. Annie and Jackie had both told me they thought he cheated on my mom with that same woman. And I’d put money that he cheated when she wasn’t able to walk anymore.
But let’s start with when we moved to CT. My mom’s MS started getting bad and she was losing her mobility. I was the one who had to clean the house. Don would walk around while I cleaned calling me Cinderella. I had to clean everything. Including his bathroom. I had to put things away he had left out. One fateful day I opened a drawer to put away something in the bathroom and found all these weird looking things. I was 12 and didn’t know what they were. I don’t know how I found out but it was a drawer FULL of dildos and vibrators. Disgusting, dirty(literally dirty) dildos and vibrators. I’m not going to go into details because no one else deserves to know what was in there. Just know that it was awful.
I’m going to get off topic because I want to make sure I fit this in. When my grandmother died she left me her VCR. She knew something was off about Don and wanted me to be able to stay in my room and watch my Disney movies. Well. When we moved to CT I was 12. My VCR was my one thing from Nanny I had. Cut to me vaccuming the stairs in our town house. Don and my mother told me to stay out of my room until they finished in there. They used my VCR and bed to watch porn and fuck. They used Nanny’s VCR to watch porn. And had sex in my bed. Did you catch it that time? This happened more than once. I knew it because he was loud on purpose. Gross, traumatizing shit. Coming out of my bedroom.
The porn. The fucking porn. I don’t even know where to start. Before there were DVDs and after VHS there was a small window where laserdisc was a thing. Record size DVDs. Don loved all the new tech as it came out so he had to have a laserdisc player. Well. Just like VHS and DVD they made laserdisc porn. And just like VHS and DVD Don collected it. Porn was in every cabinet in the house. Mixed in with regular movies in certain places. So if he told me to go get a movie I’d have to go through a stack and see all of the gross shit he had. He collected furniture too. Big bureaus. And he had one in my room. It wasn’t mine and none of my stuff was in it but it was in my room. In it were some of his laserdisc collection of porn. He would come in my room to get it. All the time.
Now our rooms shared a wall. He moved their bed so the headbord was on that wall. I don’t know how often, but often enough they would be having loud sex. Banging the wall with the headboard. While watching porn at a loud volume. I would bang on the wall screaming for them to stop but he would just get louder. It was awful and I can still hear it in my nightmares.
How did my mother let this shit happen? Why did she let this shit happen? She knew I would find the movies and had to know that I would find the sex toys. Why did she let all that happen? My therapist says it’s because she had the bad, failed marraige to my biological father that she would do anything to keep Don. But what about me and how all of that would affect me?
That’s all I want to talk about today I think. That’s enough baggage for one post. Sorry this was such a heavy one.
So. I watched Allen VS Farrow on HBO. Josh said he didn’t think it was a good idea. I knew my therapist wouldn’t love it. I knew Angie will smack me. And yet here I am.
Now that you know how much I shouldn’t watch it, know how right they were. I didn’t think I would be so good damn triggered. I was fine until I had therapy. It opened up this big can of worms and my PTSD came out fighting.
If you or someone you know has beem sexually assaulted I don’t suggest this documentary.
My mother at one point had to love me. She wrote me notes in my school lunches when I was in elementary school. She had a nickname for me (squeege). She made popcorn balls for my class at Christmas. She went on field trips. She threw me birthday parties. Where was the disconnect?
Don. Don the destroyer. I remember those things she did. But. I also remember nothing else. Going to work with them every weekend. They joked around the whole time and had me and Annie and Jackie entertain ourselves. The stock market is Monday through Friday. Why were we there other than Don had the girls for the weekend and wanted to make his relationship with my mom look professional yet friendly.
They would leave me with them while they “worked”. Maybe work did get done at points, I don’t know. What I do know is we were there every weekend. And whenever Annie and Jackie were there my mother tried her best to make them like her. She spoiled them. I was an afterthought when they were around. So much for all that “love” she showed me.
The time I remember my mother making time for me is when she found out when I was 6 or 7 that I was trying to poison myself to end my life. She wouldn’t let me say why, just gave me a long talk about how good my life was. Sorry mom, but if your daughter is trying to kill herself she doesn’t really think her life is good. Next thing you know she is diagnosed with MS when I turned 8 and I had to start helping her. So I had to stay.
I stayed for her. And as I got older and the MS started taking over her body I was her nurse. At 12. And from that point on I was a prisoner to my mother and Don because I had to be there for her. We moved to CT and my way of living changed. The love that she made a point to show was no longer even an attempt.
And yet now, at almost 40, I feel guilty that I left her to start my life with Josh. I had to run away at 27. I left everything except the clothes on my back and had to start over. Then Don died and I stepped back up and was at her beck and call. I was degraded by my god father for not being a good daughter. Then she decided to stop talking to me. And her friends expected me to just show up and make amends. I can’t do it to myself and yet I feel SUCH guilt.